I did not know this existed here arounds! Do you even know what Pastil is? No no, not Pastel. Those are two different things, though both are delectable and originally from the Mindanao area! Pastel is the yummy sweet bun with an even sweeter filling, and this is more of a snack that we commonly find in CDO and Camiguin, right? And for those with Euro-inclinations, the more that this is not "pastille", "pastillas" nor "pastilyas"! Way far actually. Pastil is a meal (though it can easily be a snack too) – made of rice and sautéed beef, chicken or fish, wrapped in banana leaves. Yumminess!
I have tasted Pastil a number of times, though all those encounters were at places in Mindanao like Cotabato or Marawi. I think I even had similar fares as far down as Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, even farther down in Surabaya and far Medan, though am not sure if they're called the same name. But I never imagined they have already invaded Cebu! How did I find out? I was at the 3rd Cebu Blog Camp at CICC some weeks ago and saw a table on the side that had signage saying “Pastilan”. I knew it was some product that one company wanted to promote, and what better way to do it than with bloggers, right? Soon it was mentioned (advertised) through the facilitators.
And they gave us Pastil for free during lunch and afternoon snacks!
Curious how they got to Cebu, I approached the staff giving away Pastil (I already had beef and fish, plus tasted chicken from one of my seatmates). Well what do you know, the guys pushing pastil in Cebu come from or have family roots tracing back to Mindanao! Yes, Cotabato City! So I asked them a few questions just to satisfy my curiosity. Hah, they confirmed that to their knowledge, there had been no commercially available pastil in Cebu yet, reason why they are trying to promote the product in this area!
Pretending I did not know anything about Pastil, I asked how it came into being. The youngish man who answered me told me of a story that in the past, folks from Mindanao who would go to Manila had to pack food to eat during the very long boat rides. And he says that is where pastil was born. Plausible enough since he is still that young and that is probably just the story that came into his awareness hehe. But the story I got when I was in Cotabato was even older - it had something to do with fishermen trying to pack food that won't get stale for days of fishing out at sea. Quite similar to the story of how "puso" (of Cebu) or "langbay" (of Samar) came to be. So, Pastil was already around even before the advent of ships from Mindanao to Manila
But anyway, Pastil is now in Cebu. And "Pastilan" is in Banilad!